The Church as God’s Community

St. Paul Preaching

Like Jesus and James, Paul identifies the love of neighbor as the perfect summation of God’s commandments, because ‘love does no harm to the neighbor.’ (Rom. 13:8-10). Paul thus emphasizes a communal understanding of righteousness; it is not only a matter of being right with God but also a matter of being in right relationship with others (1 Cor. 8:1-3; Rom. 14:17)…Paul shows little or no concern for the perfection (teleiōsis) of individuals, but is constantly concerned that his churches mature as communities…Envy and rivalry foster a spirit of competition that seeks the good of the individual at the expense of the community (Gal. 5:13)…In his view, the paradigm of God’s saving action as revealed in the faith and love of Jesus demands of the strong in the community not to dominate or assert their will, but in service and humility to place themselves at the disposal of the weak (1 Cor. 8:7-13)…And since in antiquity the relationship between brothers is the supreme paradigm for fellowship (koinōnia), kinship language also encourages the patterns of equality and reciprocity that are Paul’s moral concern.  (The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul, edited by James D.G. Dunn, pg 204, 206)

One thought on “The Church as God’s Community

  1. Dear Pastor ,
    I am a pastor pastoring some churches in kenya.After long period of prayers and fasting,that God to show us people to fellowship with,people standing on truth of God,i find your website.We were waiting for the will of God of our church,and i belief you are the right people to work with for the purpose of the gospel.

    Pastor Benson Kenya

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